Linebacker/special teams coach Ross Els is also Nebraska's new recruiting coordinator.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Bo Pelini Press Conference: From 1 to 10

By NU Athletic Communications

Pelini Discusses 2012 Recruiting Class

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By Randy York

Bo Pelini was forthright and fully engaged Wednesday at his 2012 Signing Day Press Conference, answering not only every question thoughtfully and substantively, but also going above and beyond in terms of overall perspective.

For those who didn't watch Pelini's media session, here are 10 quick highlights:

1)  In addition to being Nebraska's linebacker coach, Ross Els is also now, officially, both Nebraska's recruiting coordinator and special teams coach, inheriting those duties from John Papuchis, who was promoted to defensive coordinator in December.

2)  In response to a question, Pelini acknowledged that the coaching staff and Braylon Heard are considering the possibility of the talented sophomore from Youngstown, Ohio, moving from I-back to defensive back this spring.

3)  Pelini described Nebraska's 2012 Walk-On Class as perhaps the best the Huskers have put together in his five seasons. Pelini said Nebraska has "a lot of talent" walking on, and he feels "more comfortable than ever" about the potential to develop that talent.

4)  Nebraska's head coach believes his staff has a better understanding of recruiting and competing in the Big Ten Conference, but he left no doubt about the program's No. 1 goal. "At the end of the day," he said, "we want to win the national championship."

5)  One of Nebraska's highest priorities and biggest challenges in recruiting is convincing recruits' parents to visit the campus as well. Whenever parents are able to see NU's facilities and overall atmosphere, the recruiting success rate gets dramatically higher.

6)  Pelini prefers focusing recruiting efforts in-state and within a 500-mile radius, but said Nebraska must continue to pursue talent nationally. If Pelini could "do over" this recruiting class, he said he would have recruited the Dallas metro area more aggressively.

7)   In breaking with tradition, Pelini talked about individuals, indicating Michael Rose "can play for anybody" and pointing out the Kansas City linebacker has "a lot of the same qualities" as Tommy Armstrong, the Huskers' new quarterback from Cibolo, Texas.

8)  Nebraska's head coach praised the work of assistants and support staff for recruiting "the type of people who are going to fit in well at Nebraska." Pelini thought the effort was well organized and said 90 percent of his travel came in the last two weeks.

9)  Nebraska's original intent was not to recruit four linebackers, but Pelini believes all four are talented athletes who can move quickly to the ball. "We don't promise playing time," he said. Once NU recruits defensive backs, "then we figure out where they fit," Pelini said.

10)  In response to a question about four-year scholarships instead of one-year grants, Pelini said if a player leaves school, it's usually "because of what they weren't doing off the field. If you recruit someone not quite as good as you thought they were, that's our fault."

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